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Having seen her career hamstrung by an inability to move out of her big-ballad comfort zone, Leona Lewis perks up a bit on Christmas, With Love. But the style is too tired and derivative to perk anyone else up.
It chiefly consists of Motown and Phil Spector pastiches with busy beats, chiming bells and girl-group oohs-and-aahs, all done with mechanistic efficiency and zero charisma.
Lewis jollies along but fails to stamp her personality on the songs, lapsing back into cascading-waterfall mode on “O Holy Night” and “Your Hallelujah”, both formulaic slow-builders in the cheerless X Factor manner.
Christmas, With Love
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